UU Allies for Racial Equity(ARE) Endorses Arizona Boycott
With other people of faith and concerned citizens across the country, we are disappointed and deeply troubled by the passage of recent anti-immigrant legislation in the state of Arizona. We fear that this legislation will ultimately result in marginalization of immigrants, both documented and undocumented. Harassment of Latinos/Latinas/Hispanics and people of color perceived as immigrants because of their race or ethnicity will be an inevitable consequence of any attempts at enforcement. Our nation has made significant progress toward racial equity in the last fifty years. This new law is a shameful step backwards, once again inscribing racism in the legal system and thereby in the institutions required to comply with the legal system.
Immediately upon passage of the new Arizona law, the Rev. Peter Morales, president of our Unitarian Universalist Association, issued a statement in which he wrote: We cannot stand by while those charged to protect us instead subject us to racial profiling, unwarranted searches, and unjust arrests. We must not let fear and ignorance cause our neighbors to be treated as lesser beings. We must not allow this law to violate our national constitution or America’s moral conscience.” We are grateful for the leadership of Rev. Morales and for the leadership of our Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees who quickly convened a special meeting to consider whether we should rescind our commitment to hold our 2012 General Assembly in Phoenix. After listening to many voices and considering a spectrum of protest strategies, the board voted to present a business resolution before the delegates to our annual General Assembly this June in Minneapolis, MN asking us to participate in a widespread economic boycott of Arizona. We encourage you to read the full text of the board’s resolution which can be found at http://www.uua.org/aboutus/governance/boardtrustees/index.shtml.
We know that some in our association are advocating alternative protest strategies, but our philosophy of accountability calls us to carefully consider requests for allied participation from Diverse & Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) and from the Latino/a Unitarian Universalist Networking Association (LUUNA). In doing so, we have discovered that DRUUMM and LUUNA leaders have aligned themselves with the leadership of several prominent national civil and immigrants rights organizations. With hope and faith that a strong, united voice of protest will help overturn this law, and in solidarity with LUUNA and with DRUUMM, we affirm our support of an economic boycott of Arizona and encourage delegates to our General Assembly to vote in favor of the business resolution presented by our board of trustees.
UU Allies for Racial Equity (ARE) Steering Committee
Rev. Wendy von Zirpolo, President
Rev. Michael Tino, Vice-President
Ken Wagner, Treasurer/Stewardship Coordinator
Sharon Blevins, Membership Chair
Rev. Bill Gardiner, Education Team Co-Chair
Rev. Melissa Carvill-Ziemer, Education Team Co-Chair
Rev. James Hobart, Connections Team Co-Chair